As if quitting a stable corporate job to start a public relations agency on her own wasn’t enough, Juliana Martins, packed up her bags and moved her life and business across the country no less than two weeks later.
From New York to Los Angeles, what initially started as a road trip, kept extending until she found herself signing a long-term lease.
In an interview with California Business Journal, the 25-year-old publicist sheds insight on her company, Eleven11 Media Relations, and its expansion to Los Angeles and helping inspire young, hopeful entrepreneurs to take a leap of faith.
CBJ: You were approaching 24 years old when you quit your corporate job and started Eleven11 Media Relations. What made you confident in starting your own business at such a young age?
JM: I have been in the PR industry for a few years at that point so had a good understanding of what went into running and maintaining a client account. When the pandemic hit, there was a gap in the world of PR and marketing where many brands could not afford massive agencies anymore but still needed PR to get their products known to consumers. Eleven11 Media Relations offered brands and talent high-quality work and effort for a portion of the monthly fee they were used to paying. I started my business with a couple of clients I signed through word-of-mouth recommendations already committed to long-term retainers, so I felt comfortable enough to quit knowing that I had security. It’s so crucial to have an airtight business plan if you’re thinking about completely supporting yourself for an extended period of time.
CBJ: New York is an electric hub for business — why come to LA only two weeks after starting a new firm?
JM: It was actually by accident. My friend and I were planning a cross-country road trip and needed a change of scenery. I also wanted to build relationships in California with new business leads and media professionals. At this point, I had just wrapped up my corporate job and was in the process of new business outreach and signing new clients to my roster. We were somewhere in the middle of Tennessee and pulled over on the side of the road so I could take a Zoom call with a potential client. The call was cutting in and out but I wanted to work with her so bad that I was hopping around from spot to spot to get the clearest reception. She appreciated the lengths I was willing to make this call work with her.
We ended up getting to LA about a week later and stayed in an Airbnb for a month. My meetings started picking up and I was delving more into the entertainment space which is what I’ve always wanted to do, so we decided to extend the Airbnb for two more months. When that came to an end, the growth that my business had in three months was astonishing to me and I wanted to stay and see what could happen if I made LA my home base. So together, my friend and I signed a two-year lease.
CBJ: How have you designed and separated Eleven11 from others in the massive PR space?
JM: We have an array of clients across the e-commerce, lifestyle, beauty, and entertainment sectors. Many people are surprised when I tell them I don’t just have one area of focus but for me, this works. I only sign clients I wholeheartedly believe in and my team and I do hours of research into a brand/person to ensure we can do the best possible job supporting them if we have the opportunity to sign them. That’s also the exciting part about having your own business — it’s also about having the freedom to work on projects that excite and interest you. Having an eclectic roster keeps me and my team inspired and always adapting to new and creative ways to secure wins for our clients. Bouncing between LA and New York also allows me to be in the social hub. Whether it’s going to industry events or dinners with my friends who are influencers or work in the entertainment industry, I am constantly taking in information that I can translate into strong decision-making skills for my clients based on being immersed in the social landscape.
CBJ: Finish this sentence — For long as I can remember…
JM: I’ve always been glamourized by red carpet events. When I started my agency, coordinating a red carpet was something I had always dreamed of getting into. A month into moving to LA, I had the opportunity to help coordinate an event for a TV series premiere in San Diego and it was so invigorating. In October 2021, my team and I coordinated a star-studded red carpet concert event for the launch of a music app with over a thousand guests and it was a moment I was incredibly proud of producing from start to finish since there were so many moving parts we spent weeks preparing for. We just did an event at The Roxy in West Hollywood for our client’s first single release and again, you can ask anyone on my team, I was literally giddy when the red carpet was fully set up and talking about how beautiful it looked for a week after. I hope to do many more red carpet events, hopefully, one day for a movie premiere. What once was aspirational, has now become a package Eleven11 offers brands and clients for any large-scale event they’re hosting.
CBJ: Let’s say there’s a 22-year-old out there who just graduated from UCLA with a degree in Communications and PR, what do you tell them?
JM: Take control of your own destiny, invest in yourself and create the life you want – it’s so powerful. Life is not black and white and there is no rule book on how to achieve success. Put a lot of thought into your business plan/idea before making any big moves. Think about anything that could be an obstacle and strategize how you’d overcome that if it were to ever happen. It is important to have trusted confidants in your corner. I cannot explain how many times I’ve been fortunate enough to lean on mentors, industry professionals, and family members when I need advice or a gut check. The number of people willing to support you will be surprising in the best way.
More on Juliana: Her PR practice focuses on the talent/entertainment, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and e-commerce sectors. She is recognized for garnering hits in media outlets such as New York Times, E! News, Good Morning America, the TODAY Show and People Magazine. Constantly adapting to ever-changing media trends, Juliana is landing clients on some of the top listened-to podcasts including ‘Works for Us with Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman’, ‘Workin’ On It with Meghan Trainor & Ryan Trainor’, and ‘Viall Files’. Juliana has own her podcast, Behind The Media. Juliana has produced Red Carpet events in San Diego and Hollywood and spearheaded campaigns with GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter, KESHA, E! Network’s Famously Single Host Dr. Darcy Sterling and The Bachelor’s Jason Tartick.
Contact Juliana anytime — except when she’s hauling through Tennessee!
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